The Honda Racing F1 Team added three points to its World Championship tally this afternoon when Rubens Barrichello finished sixth in the Monaco Grand Prix. His team-mate Jenson Button came home in 11th place. In a very eventful race from ...
The Honda Racing F1 Team added three points to its World Championship tally this afternoon when Rubens Barrichello finished sixth in the Monaco Grand Prix. His team-mate Jenson Button came home in 11th place.
In a very eventful race from start-to-finish, Jenson's hopes of a points finish were unfortunately dashed towards the end of the opening lap when he collided with Nick Heidfeld on the exit of the Swimming Pool. He pitted immediately to replace his front wing, but rejoined the race in 20th and last position.
Rubens was running in 11th place during the early part of the race. The Safety Car was then deployed on lap eight for the first time when Coulthard and Bourdais crashed at Massanet. The debris was cleared quickly and the race re-started, and by lap 16 Rubens was into the points.
In the middle part of the race, Rubens set the fastest time on two consecutive laps and was up to sixth place by lap 51. He made his only pitstop late in the race on lap 54, when he fitted dry tyres and rejoined the race in eighth position. Rubens moved up to sixth place when Raikkonen and Sutil collided on lap 61.
Q. Congratulations Rubens. Where better than Monaco to get some points back on the table?
A. "It feels great to be back in the points today and I'm really happy for myself and for the team. We had a good race, however it was unfortunate that I was held up by Trulli for so long early on, otherwise it could have been even better."
Q. How much more is there to come from yourself and Honda now?
A. "I'm glad to get the monkey off my back in terms of scoring points as it has been quite a wait, but I never lost the faith. We are capable of good points results and I hope this is the start of a stronger period for us. We just need to keep our heads down and keep pushing forward."
Q. Today brought the rain you were hoping for, and the attrition, but didn't produce the outcome you were hoping for?
A. "My race today was really disappointing. I had a bad start and dropped a couple of places after getting caught on the inside of turn one. I got round the outside of Rubens in the hairpin and Webber after the tunnel going into the chicane. I was alongside Heidfeld through the Swimming Pool when he overshot the corner. On the exit, I thought there was enough space for me to go down the inside but there wasn't and I touched his rear wheel with my nose, breaking my front wing and damaging the bargeboards. So unfortunately that was my race compromised on the first lap. Later in the race, I got hit from behind by Kovalainen which damaged the rear and spun me off at the chicane. So it was a messy race and I'm disappointed as we should have come away from here with some points given the pace of the car. However Rubens had a good drive and stayed out of trouble to bring points home for the team, so well done to him."
ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
Q. A race of mixed fortunes but three more points for Rubens is another good step forward?
A. "Today's race was full of incident and attrition with Rubens doing a splendid job to keep clear of all the trouble and drive a very disciplined race into sixth place. Jenson's race had a setback when he collided with Heidfeld towards the end of the first lap, and as the race evolved, there was no opportunity for him to get back into the points despite showing great speed at times. It is satisfying to score points once again and our pace this weekend deserved it."
Q. Sum up the weekend and what lies ahead for Honda.
A. "We had a relatively incident free weekend which is always welcome at Monaco and set the stage for a good performance. Throughout practice we made good progress with the car and were competitive in all conditions. The disappointment was obviously qualifying where neither car made the top ten because of the yellow flags which resulted from Coulthard's accident. The wet race provided the drama we needed to get a car into the points and we are thankful for that. We now move on to Montreal which is a very different type of racetrack. We will have a new low downforce package and a number of new parts therefore we look forward to improving the car a little further.